Editorial Design: Creating a document that speaks to readers | Steph F. ~ A Brand Apart Design | Skillshare

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Editorial Design: Creating a document that speaks to readers

teacher avatar Steph F. ~ A Brand Apart Design, Freelance Designer & Coffee Guzzler

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Editorial Design Intro

    • 2. Chp1 - What's Out There Now

    • 3. Chp2 - Grids & Guides

    • 4. Chp2b - Drawing Grids Over Magazines

    • 5. Chp3 - Getting Started

    • 6. Chp4a - My Process: Moodboard

    • 7. Chp4b - My Process: Setting Up the Document

    • 8. Chp4c - My Process: Timelapse - Fast

    • 9. Chp4d - My Process: Timelapse - Slow With Voiceover

    • 10. Chp4e - My Process: The FInal Document

    • 11. Chp5 - Your Project!

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About This Class

A lot of classes dealing with designing magazines or documents focus on the software - InDesign, etc. - and not so much on how to actually design a layout and aesthetic for your particular purpose.

My class will deal more with the actual design, covering basics like mood boards, showing examples of grids and designs from existing magazines, and then going through a time lapse of me designing a promotional booklet from scratch during a timelapse.

This course will be target towards those looking to work on
- lifestyle magazines
- corporate documents
- product catalogues
- menus
- portfolios
or any type of document, as they really follow similar foundational aspects before branching off into their own realm.

** This is my first class, so any comments or feedback on how to improve for my next one would be greatly appreciated! ** :)

I have attached the .pdf version of the document I designed here - please feel free to pass it on to anyone and help spread the awareness about the impact of palm oil on the environment and orangutan population. To access it, go to Your Project and find the link in the right menu. Thank you!

Meet Your Teacher

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Steph F. ~ A Brand Apart Design

Freelance Designer & Coffee Guzzler


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1. Editorial Design Intro: finding stuff. I'm a freelance graphic designer living in Vancouver, B. C. Over the last nine years, I've worked with a lot of really great companies doing everything from branding illustration packed design promotion design. During this time, a lot of these companies needed some sort of multi peach document, whether it was a franchise report or a catalogue or promotional booklet. Um, and while there's a little courses online that deal with the software used to create these , there's not really anything that shows how to actually design them. So I thought for my first class on skill share, I would show you my process from blank page two final product and kind of give you a look at how I go about setting them up and design. And your project will be to Smith your process. So everything from Europe breakdown your grids, your set up in layout to your final product. I could be on any topic you want, so I look forward to teaching you guys, and I hope you got a lot out of it. And, uh, let's get into Chapter one 2. Chp1 - What's Out There Now: So it's it there now. This is just gonna be a brief overview of some kinds of editorial designs that I really love. First, there are some of these magazines. If you guys like the de saturated photo, very minimal, lots of white space. Kind of look at these ones. I'll do that really well. Water Journal Cereal Magazine Adventure Handbook. One of my favorites is another escape. They do a lot of outdoor related articles and issues. Um, and then these are a few other examples of some other magazines you might want to check out for some inspiration. Seasons are all available online. A lot of them have back issues that you can browse through. So it's that's kind of cool. You can see sort of the transition that they've gone through over the years, depending on how long they've been around. For, um, editorial design also covers things like handbooks, Catalogues 99. You Quarterly is a really cool magazine that takes full advantage of color and large typography. Big photos, very layout designs, A really cool. They have a bunch of issues on Behan's that you can browse through Brand books are another example this Helly Hansen version uses full spreads with stylized photos to emphasize their brand while also explaining the brand breakdown. So editorial design isn't just magazines, it's really any type of multi page document. And styles have gone everywhere, from just rigid columns to really making full use of the page. And the cool thing with a lot of them being published online now is that they have the freedom to do a lot of wacky stuff that wouldn't be possible if they were being printed. So having Pdf's or Repubs or interactive elements like links has really expanded the scope of what's possible with these. 3. Chp2 - Grids & Guides: So I'll admit When I first started designing booklets, I didn't use grids. I didn't go to graphic design school. My background is in traditional animation, so the only goods I knew were perspective grids for drying backgrounds. But for graphic design, I I didn't really get the point of grids when to use them when not to use thumb. So I started reading up on it and teaching myself. And now that I do use them, I find that helps so much with layout and composition and planning at the pages. Eso, the point of grades is that they add structure in order to graphic design. These air just a couple examples of commonly used grids, but the possibilities when you start combining them are really endless. There's a real thirds where you want the important important items to fall on the intersections of the lines, dividing the page in thirds um, Golden race. You a good example of this in what design would be a blawg where you have your main content in the larger area to the left and then cyber info on the rate, um, columns and obvious one would be newspapers or magazines where everything is aligned according to a specific number of columns, Baseline Grid would just on example, is just your typical ruled paper. So you know when you're learning to print one of things, we're taught us to make sure you're writing falls on the same line. So that's what baseline grids are. Basically, you can use these in combination. For example, you can use Collins with basil and grids to make sure your words air lining up vertically and horizontally. I usually like to use an odd number of columns seven or nine, for example, so you can break up your content easier. And then you have se content spanning four columns and three columns, and that makes up seven columns. So it just adds a nice variety to the copy. Um, I'm not really gonna get too much into explaining grids. That would be a whole course on its own, but I will show a few examples that are really helpful. If you wanted to learn a bit more, these would all be good reference. Ah, Designed by Gray, the site has a lot of tutorials, some of which go to external sites that don't exist anymore, which is a bit of a bummer, but their articles air really good. Uh, this is an older article from around 2005 but the information is still accurate and relevant, and it goes through the five steps of setting up your grade for your article or document. Once you learn grids, the whole point is that you want to break out of them a little bit. Um, you don't wanna have a rigid structure on every single page. So these next two sites focusing more on the use of grids and Web design, But you can still apply a lot of their suggestions to your documents. Um, if you guys have not heard of legend Lever, I strongly recommend checking up their site. And there be hence Page. Their work is stunning, and they have a whole project that goes through the redesign of Transworld Surf magazine. And the cool thing is that they'll have the actual pages above, and then they're set up or lay up below. So you can really get a feel for how they plan to each page. Um, this thing is really cool because it goes through every type of column combination that you could use and what's good about it and what's bad about it? Uh, so in the next video, I'm just gonna go over unexamined all of grids in an existing magazine. Just so you guys couldn't sort of visualize what I'm referring Teoh and, uh and then we'll take it from there, Okay? 4. Chp2b - Drawing Grids Over Magazines: if you want to learn more about grades and use, a good way to figure this out a bit is to find an existing magazine and lay good lines over talk to see how the designer structured their pages. So, for example, I found this magazine on Invade. Oh, and I thought it would be good, because it shows a lot of examples that you can play with. So let's zoom in and draw a grid over top. You can drag your lines over and photo shop and start with the obvious columns first. Already we have a three column grid, but if you chopped that in half, you can see. Here's two column for column one call. Um, so if you start off with a baseline with a full page grid, it gives you a choice of how far you want to spend the content. But it also gives you the ability to play the composition of the layout. So if we do another example on the page next to it, we started where there are too obvious breaks in the content and then keep going as you see where this starts in the ends are. So this is looking like a six column great as well. You have to do the same number of columns on each page. It really depends on your style and what you're wanting to achieve. But if you want to keep it consistent, you could use the same number of columns on each page and then play with how many columns you want to span with your text so you can see right here. He stayed right within the six column range, broke out of it a bit with the graphics on the sides of the images. Um, so it's a good way if you want to go to market places like these, because these are by actual designers and they give you a taste of how they've done it. And they'll come with a huge trail of preview images so you can get a lot of practice, so you can pretty easily go in there, figure out how they set it up, and then how they broke out of it. Um, so this is another six columns, but you can see how he broke out of it in a few different places, all the way to the edge of the page. 5. Chp3 - Getting Started: okay, Getting started. Ah, so these are a few things you should do before even starting on the design. This is all stuff you have to plan in advance. So first you have to choose your audience. Knowing who you're designing for is going to determine a lot of things. Um, the overall aesthetic that lay out the colors magazine for kids would look really different from a corporate document for a Franchising company, for example, um, at this point like to create a mood board that will help inspire the layout. I don't really like to look at how other magazines do it, because I find that just gets stuck in my head and prevents me from going in with a fresh perspective. So I like to look up photos or watch videos about the topic. Let that information sink in a little bit. And then I'll put together a board on Pinterest with photos or colors or things that kind of jumped out at me just to inspire the overall design. For example, I showed this image earlier. Thes are some documents for a kickboxing gym. I did some work for boxing is really structured, but it also requires improvisation. So I wanted to use to have a similar feel to be rigid, but have certain aspects that broke up the rigidity of the design. Um, these ones I did before I started using grids. Actually, I just went in with a blank art board and put these together, which I think helped in a way because I wasn't caught up in sticking with the columns. But my point is, knowing the audience and the purpose of the documents will help you figure out a style to go with. So I looked at a lot of boxing videos and photos, and I was also going to this gym at the time so that liking me a bit of an insider's perspective, I guess since a lot of magazines are published digitally, it's important to know if this is gonna be formatted for print for tablets for Mobile. Um, as I said, what's great about publishing digitally with E pubs and PDS is that you can really experiment a lot with Leo photos color number of pages, and you don't have to worry about what it's going to cost a print it, so that's really freed up a lot of opportunity to place, um, crazier designs. Once you know the document size, you may have been given a required page count that you have to stay within. If you're doing a printed copy, your document always has to be in multiples of four. So you couldn't print a booklet that say seven pages or 11. It has to be multiples of four, and this is because it's printed on spreads, and then those have to be banned in the middle. So if you only have seven pages, one of those pages isn't going to have another half to bind to. If that makes sense, usually you just end up adding at a blank page to get that count up to multiple. For So for this class, I'm going to be designing a small informational booklet, and I just want to emphasize this is just my process. This is how I work, but it doesn't mean it's the only way you're the right way here. The way you have to do it is just a look at how I set up and do the actual design I'm gonna be using in design. You can also use photo shop or illustrator or whatever program you're comfortable with. I've used photo shop and illustrator in the past design documents before I got familiar with in design. But what I love about in design is that you can export documents with much smaller file size than either of those programs could. So that's why I started using it as my main program for documents signed What? So, um, first, let's just get started on the mood board. 6. Chp4a - My Process: Moodboard: So my project that will be working on is a booklet design about how palm oil plantations are causing mass extinction of many things. Ah, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, contributing to global warming. Pretty terrible stuff. I'll be showing my mood board, which has some upsetting photos on it, but they're going to play a part in the design process. So it's important to pin things that are directly related to the topic because the feelings the illicit really could help you visually represent the content, especially on subject matter like this. So if we go over to Pinterest, a lot of the images I pinned are of rang attains or photos showcasing what's actually happening over there. Some of it is I took for color choices or just to get a fuel for the impact these plantations air having which I'll use in some way in the actual booklet 7. Chp4b - My Process: Setting Up the Document: Okay, so I'm going to start off with opening in design, creating a new document. I'm just going to do four pages, so it'll basically be one double sided spread. Um, number of columns. I'll go with seven. I can always change that if I want to. If you zoom out, you'll see this is what it's going to look like. But I don't want the seven columns on the title page, so I'm just going to go up and change that back to one. It doesn't really matter. You condemn sign over top of it, but this just cleans it up a bit for me. So no, I did find a bunch of photos, most from unspool ash, some that are screen grabs from a documentary called Red Ape that aired in the UK Not in Canada, Unfortunately, Um, and I'm just going toe attribute all the sources, so I'm not selling the brochure. So adding the information in as captions or footnotes to say where they're from should be fine for this class example. So I'm going to go into my time lapse now, and the 1st 1 will be a fast version so you can get an overview of my process. And then I did an updated version with me talking over a slowed down version so you can get a feel for some of my design choices. 8. Chp4c - My Process: Timelapse - Fast: 9. Chp4d - My Process: Timelapse - Slow With Voiceover: like something's getting talk over a slowed down version of the time lapse to give you guys sort of an idea of what I was thinking as I was doing this. So once a title image, the image on the title page displaced in there, what I want to do next is add in all the copy that I have, because I don't really know what I want the late toe look like until I know what I'm working with. So right now, I'm just adding in the initial few paragraphs so that I couldn't get the text all set up, and this is done using the paragraph styles in design. So originally I had the header as, ah, script fun, but I went with something a bit bolder that would match the title page eventually. This is just setting up the gullible attributes. So in in design you can set up your page numbers, and, um, right now I'm doing a little title that's going appear along the side of the page so that that's going appear on every single page. So you set this up originally in the pages, and then when you go back to your document, Harold Harold there, And they'll line up properly every time. You don't have to put them in yourself each time. Um, right now I'm just playing around. I want the header to stand out a little bit. I don't want to just be stuck below the photo, so I'm working on adding Thekla background behind it. So little stand out above the photo just to break up That that, um, that content a little bit. And no, I know that I am wanting Teoh have the title stand out a little bit. So that was just me opening one of the photos that had a lot of colors in. And just so that I could get some of the then that I realized I could just do it an insight . Um, just to get the background colors, I dropped from an actual photograph. Um, so really, when you begin the set up until you have enough of the pages done, you can't really figure out how you want the layout to be structured. Um, at least not right off the bat. It takes a lot of tweaking and playing around with things, so you'll see that I have changed the document from being an enough by 5.5 to being ah square format I final Lately, I've really been working in that format. And what more? Or maybe it's just instagram has kind of sweet me to love square format more, but I I thought that the text would work a little bit better this way rather than in the landscape. There was too much content to stack vertically, but there wasn't enough. Teoh apply horizontally. Um, so the original the the document that I'm working with with the copy had some pointers of what the problem with this Palm oil issue is in. I really wanted these to stand out because I find when people read documents, unless they couldn't grasp things within a split second of looking at it, they kind of just glaze over and move on. So it's kind of important to get the content in there, but have it almost as if you can read it in a split second. So that's that's how I go about designing things is, um, you know, you want it to be visually pleasing and you want the content to be there and you want it, Teoh be easy to read. I guess so. I'm I'm just playing around with some different ways to have the points and the titles of each of those paragraphs. Or like, the main reason that this is important. Um, I wasn't happy with how that ended up just yet, and I'll be coming back to that in a little bit, but so I took a break from that. Moved on to the next page. Um, so I really wanted to show what the deforestation looks like over there, uh, with a big picture. And I wanted the text on top, and I knew that going in. But this just wasn't really feeling right. I tried to fade the picture of it to have the text stand out more. Um, on. And right now, I'm just following along the lines of the deforestation there just to emphasize this this massive divide between the trees that were there to, um, what the actual forest looks like now, Um, So as you'll see, I kept with the header as on the previous one with the white background. And then I added in those little corner, the red triangular corner things just to house the content a little bit, so I just decided to take a break from that to the A lot of this is just placing in the content and then just going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth trying to get adult toe work together. So this little point form notes section about all the different names of palm oil? Um, I knew I wanted this to be point form so that it was easy to read, but it's so much like like, what do you call it? Scientific terms. I guess. Um, it is just not readable. And so I wanted those those terms those different names of palm oil Teoh, um, be easier to read or understand. And so I'm playing around with the different backgrounds to have every other line alternate a different color. Um, so this is just taking some tweaking in in design? Uh, originally setting it up is a character style, and then I just decided you'll see here. I'm just doing it as a table eyes just faster and easier. And, um, and it would have is the content a little bit more? Have each line be more consistent. So Now you'll see. I'm displacing in each line into the table. And then, um no, Still just doing the table. Uh, so right. I decided to go back and redo each background of the every other line to be the red color, Like on the first page that I drop heard from the photo. Um, so this is just gonna make it easier. I think Teoh have that people would content right in the middle of the page and still be readable. Or at least you know it's easier to scroll through. Um, so continuing on with the title here, I just wanted that I didn't want it to be the same as the main heading of the section that what can I do? But it's still needed a title itself. So, um, that's why I just put it on it's side. Just so it broke it up a little bit. Now I'm just making sure the alignment is okay with the with the text there and the table. Um, this part I just wanted people to read right away. What companies? Thes massive companies who can have a stance and do something about it are the ones that are just continuing using the dirty palm oil and and causing this issue too. Um, you know, never get resolved. So that's why did the Unilever and Pepsi and all those in the bold and no, I'm just when I When I'm doing something, if the consistent style, I'll just copy and paste the previous one and, um, drop it on to the next page Just so the pointers and all that kind of thing are the same. Um, but you'll see that I just changed you two columns because I felt like it was just stretching across the page, and it was just becoming a way to dull reading all that text. So I switch that up a bit, and then I had a little idea for going back to this part that I was still unhappy with. Um, I really wanted thes points one and two to stand out a little bit more rather than just being full text. And so I'm adding a pretty horrible picture here on the horrible like, you know, upsetting. I guess, in terms of what's actually happening over there just to drive home the point and, um, kind of combined 0.0.1 and 0.2 just to show that this is really important what's happening ? And so this is just me playing around with the image rap, making sure that the spacing on the sites is okay and then having enough room to do the photo caption, um, and then taking that same little photo corner. And so that was used more Teoh kind of break up the to divide the areas between 0.1 and two . So now I'm kind of doing the same thing on this page using a photo in the middle Teoh house , the content and introduced the different Uh oh, yeah, that's talking about the app. So I just put the little photo thing happen there. Um, sorry. This is I hope this is being helpful. And, you know, if you guys had any questions specifically but, uh, it's, I don't know, it's kind of hard to talk about what my my processes cause a lot of it is kind of subconscious, in a way, I guess. Um okay, so this this one is another one that I'm doing with the photo in the middle. I change that to an overlay with the red so that it fit more with in the background. I don't think the regular colors just student too much. And I didn't really like how that looks. So, um, now I'm just using the corner here is used a lot. That little red, um, the little red l shaped thing. I'm using a lot to both divide up content in and house content. So So you know, when you when you have content, it just feels like it's floating there. It needs something. Teoh Give it a bit of foundation. Um, so I'm starting in on the resources section, and this is a huge, huge section. I didn't want it to just be point form like you, RL's and boring stuff like that. So what I'm doing is, uh, taking each of, um, typing out the title and then hyper linking those to the actual your l so that people don't have to read a whole bunch of W W W's, um, So in the next video, I'm gonna show you After this time lapse stopped out, I went back in and I changed some things a little bit more, so I'll explain those in the next video 10. Chp4e - My Process: The FInal Document: So after I finished the time lapse, I went in and did a few refinements here. I finished up. The resources section added in another of the borders, at the bottom for consistency, and just to house the text here, I stopped at the image. It was on this page originally, that one showing the deforestation for the quality was pretty low. Um, so as a full page spread, it would have been pretty pixelated. So I'm using this one. Instead, I ended up blue overlay just to make the text stand out more. And the point of doing the lettering like this is both to emphasize the line that's created here by the road, but also to symbolize the deforestation. As the paragraph goes on, there are fewer and fewer words per line. Then I did the title on the front page. I just wanted something really bold that would pop out and be easy to read it first glance , and I thought it played while off the dark image. Then I went back and gave credit to all the photos that I used hyperlinked each of them so that I did the underlying So would be obvious that it was a link. And then I went into the text and I did the same thing. Everything I could do a direct link to. I added the or L there and then, um, did the same in the resources section, after all what I said about booklets and eating to be multiples of four. Since this is just a digital booklet, I didn't really have to worry about that. So I'll upload this so that you can view it in the class projects. And one final thing I like to do is a mock up so I can see how it will look. Overall, the other image that I had on here originally was really green and kind of conflicted with the image at the top. So that's why I went with that one to have the blue playoff of the green. So it's kind of balanced a bit more. So that's it. That's my whole process. If you guys have any questions, feel free to let me know, and in the next video, we'll discuss your project 11. Chp5 - Your Project!: So your project is going to be to design a booklet on whatever topic you'd like using some of the steps I outlined in this class. So to get a feel for a grid use or when and how to use thumb and how to break out of them, a good idea is to take a few pages of a magazine you like and draw great overtop. Like how we showed earlier in the videos here. You just do it digitally so you don't have to run your copy, and then you can upload a screen grab. If you want feedback on it, then you couldn't create a mood board on Pinterest, uh, and put the link or the URL in your project and then set up your documents so you can start that by using dummy text and placeholder images and then splicing your content once you're happy with the set up. Um, so if you have any questions along the way, just leave a question in the community tab, and I'll help you out anywhere I can. Thanks so much for taking my class. I hope this gave you a few ideas of how to approach your next document design. And, ah, as I said, I'm always around. So feel free to drop me a line if you need any input or feedback or you have a question or anything at all. Okay. Thanks so much, guys.